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About jbshan

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  1. Brigs Niagara and Lawrence

    And apparently the Brown's yard and Bergh's were adjacent to each other, about where the New York Navy Yard would be established in later years. Maybe that was zoning or maybe that was just a good place to have a building slip. Yes, a small world, and you keep running into the same individuals, or maybe I should say the usual suspects.
  2. In re putting ports in a merchant vessel: They almost all had ports as merchant vessels, it may have been a simple matter of enlarging those a bit or adding a couple more. They wouldn't have been terribly large, probably at most 9 pdrs. Lexington had 6 pdrs., although 'reinforced' so a bit thicker metal in the barrel, which would have allowed a greater charge, but because of the heavier barrel, not much if any more recoil. They could be rigged low down to the ship's side so the eye and ring bolts could get into solid structure. The biggest difference between warship and merchant is the shape of the hull, tubby in most merchant ships, less so in warships, they usually sailed faster, and the warship had heavier framing, this second not showing much on the exterior.
  3. Lou, the lines of Davis' model are taken from those for the British brig, of about 1800. Lexington was built somewhat before 1775 as she was an existing merchant vessel bought in to serve in the Continental Navy. The two types of vessels would not much resemble each other as the standards and practices of design had moved on a fair amount in the intervening 25 years. (Conversation with Clay Feldman, 2 of Davis' grandsons and Art Herrick, a noted researcher, at the 2004 NGR conference in Portland Maine.) If you have a copy of Brig Irene an example of one of those Cruzer class vessels that had a long life after the wars with the Netherlands Navy, the model being at one of their museums, you can compare. There is also the pair, Cruzer class brig sloops and Snake class ship sloops, which use the same hull design. All these correspond with Davis' Lexington.
  4. Goodness, you guys have been wearing your fingertips to the bone typing all this. For the moment, I'll address the Lexington questions, and try to come up with something on the rest a bit later. After more coffee. Davis' Lexington model seems to have begun life as his version of the well-known British Cruzer class brigs. During the depression, when shipbuilding and design jobs were scarce, he wrote up this model, publishing a guide to its building, but changing the name to Lexington, perhaps in an effort to appeal to an American readership. The model I built (am building. I work intermittently and slowly) is the Clay Feldman/dlumberyard semi-kit version which was featured in Seaways' Ships in Scale. This model is based on a contemporary painting of Lexington after her capture by the British. As such, she should more resemble a merchant conversion than the 25 years newer war brig, Cruzer.
  5. vossiewolf, yes, yes, and yes. If you go too far away from them, things get crowded, the ship gets topheavy, doesn't sail well, hogs excessively, all sorts of bad things happen. As one example, one of the smaller of the 'first frigates' was armed with 24 pdrs, to make her as powerful as the larger trio. Turned out she sailed better and swam properly when she was re-armed with 18s. Presumably the ports weren't changed, so there would have been larger ports at a larger spacing than the norm. Lou, you've got a little of the opposite problem, trying to fit guns into an existing hull, much as if, as you say, like Lexington she was bought in and armed by the Navy from a merchant vessel. In that case the tables would give guidelines as the guns would have to go in around stuff rather than the other stuff being arranged to suit the guns.
  6. I'm not in immediate possession of the tables, but guns and carronades of each caliber had necessary 'room and space', if you will. The port of a particular gun would be required to be 2 feet 8 inches tall X 3 feet wide and the distance between ports be 10 feet. The size of port opening was obviously to allow for proper aiming and the spacing was to accommodate the size crew needed to operate the gun. This was the second step in design of a warship, the first being that 30 guns of 24 lbs. were required on the gun deck. Plug in the port size and spacing figures, add a percentage for the run and entrance of the hull and you knew how large a ship was required. (Don't hold me to any of those figures, I just made them up.) Within reason, the stays were moved to make room for the guns. Broadside guns would probably not be interfered with by the masts. They only need to recoil about a third the length of the barrel.
  7. Brigs Niagara and Lawrence

    I keep my small change in my parse. Queen Charlotte, if I have my time line right, was built in partial response to the US building of Oneida, which was a pure warship. Oneida was, yes, on Lake Ontario, but the British boosted things to a higher level on Lake Erie as well. The Provincial Marine was a quasi-navy service that performed the government's business up and down the lakes, but also was available to carry civilian merchants' goods and personnel when Govt. business didn't fill up the vessel. You should perhaps think of a cross between the mail packet service and the East India Company that was well-armed but with fair cargo capacity and owned and operated by the Govt. Detroit, Lawrence and Niagara were all launched in 1813.
  8. Brigs Niagara and Lawrence

    Nice camels! Queen Charlotte was built at Amherstburg specifically as a warship, for the Provincial Marine. She was launched in 1810, a 'Corvette Brig to carry sixteen guns'. She was built to a draught of William Bell for a ship rather than as a brig. Robert Malcomson, Warships of the Great Lakes, quoting original documents. She was somewhat smaller than Detroit and the US Brigs, and on the day carried 16 guns on the broadside plus one on a pivot.
  9. Brigs Niagara and Lawrence

    Well, Charlie, actually, since I believe that the Niagara was raised in 1876 and sent to Philadelphia where her exhibition building burned around her, all the original wood went up in flames. There may be a few token pieces of the hull that was raised in 1913 on board (I heard as part of a door in the Capt's cabin) but nothing of any significance, and in any case that hull I believe to have been Queen Charlotte.
  10. Alternative Line Material

    Other than size, I would think you'd want to find a way to dull the white line a bit.
  11. Brigs Niagara and Lawrence

    in re plans for Detroit, I don't think so. She was not really completed when Barclay took the squadron out to meet the Americans, he lost, and his base was shortly thereafter taken by the American forces. Like with the US brigs, I suspect if there were any plans and they got sent to Washington, the Navy Yard was burned the next summer. Queen Charlotte was built a few years earlier and there is some information on her, but I think no specific as built plans.
  12. I'm actually with Peter on this, for my own work. Please note the wiggle words I used. If balsa is all you've got, it might work for you, within limitations.
  13. If you use it as a shape to help the plank go around the curve only, and not as something to fix the plank to, it might be OK. It wouldn't, I think, hold a pin or other physical fastener, those planks on an apple-bowed hull have a lot of strain on them, but I could be wrong.
  14. Brigs Niagara and Lawrence

    Now that's an interesting point, frolick. I had not heard that before. I have read that davits were a fairly new thing, and the quarter davits came before the stern davits. I suspect the qtr. davits on the replica vessel are as they are so a boat can be quickly launched in case of emergency (Coast Guard etc.). The literature (and HMS Victory) show wooden qtr. davits (they are straight timbers with sheaves at the outer end for the boat falls) that are pivoted at the butt end and can 'retract' toward the shrouds, supported by tackle that goes to the upper portion of the mast. Slacking off on this tackle allows the davits to reach further out, past the tumblehome, and the falls can then lower the boat to the water. I did my version of Lawrence with only stern davits, so you have given me justification for what was only an instinctual decision. The forward most port of eleven, Mike, would be mostly a bridle port, for handling the anchors. There is a lot of length between the forward gun port and the stem, and, while it was apparently not uncommon or unknown for the anchors to be handled over the rail on these smallish vessels, there is nothing to preclude adding a bridle port to make the job easier.
  15. Brigs Niagara and Lawrence

    Melbourne Smith made reference to others of the Brown brothers' works of which we have more information in his new design for Niagara. He also made the hull long enough to accommodate the correct number of guns and carronades on deck, which the 1913 and 1933 versions did not, as Chapelle noted at the time. The story of Smith's reconstruction is in Seaways' Ships in Scale, end of '91, start of '92, for those who have the magazines or CD.